I recently finished a seminary course on Preaching to the Post Modern World. This was timely and interesting because I am launching, with the assistance of some volunteers at my church, a new service which is meant to appeal to a post modern person. (www.thechurchcoffeehouse.com)
Cetainly there was some philosophical, theological, and homiletic learning that took place, but being a post modern myself I guess, I find it quite easy to critique the findings of the course, especially after I have distance and a good grade secured.
One of the presuppositions of the course was that stories, metaphor or narrative is the most effective was to reach a post modern audience. I am quite sure I disagree. Not entirely wholeheartedly, only because there are always exceptions to a rule, but strongly in this: I personally find and believe most of peers find stories are less authentic than plain speak. When anyone, but especially a preacher, begins to tell a story to me, one that obviously is trying to manipulate my emotions towards and end, I balk. “Tell me what you mean to say!” my insides cry, don’t try to manipulate or sell me an idea I am not sure you live, breathe or possibly even believe.
I am, as I believe most Post Moderns are, looking for authentic people, who are intelligent but communicate in plain speak. Not stories or manipulative methaphor. Just the truth as you see it. If it is worth listening to, I can figure it out. Your convivtion and passion will show your true colours, not how well you tell a story.